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Alleged Budget Padding: Obi Jumps Into Matter Without Confirmation – Onanuga

The Special Adviser to the President on Information and Strategy, Bayo Onanuga, has knocked Labour Party presidential candidate, Peter Obi, saying he always jumps into matter in the public without having authentic confirmation.

This was after Obi expressed concern over alleged budget padding involving the 2024 budget of the President Bola Tinubu-led administration.

In a statement, Obi described the discrepancy as worrying, saying “it represents over 10% of our national budget (estimated at N29 trillion) and is more than the combined education (N1.54 trillion) and health (N1.38 trillion) official budgets”.

The former governor of Anambra State said, “I find it deeply disconcerting and a matter of grave concern and even shameful to read about the alleged N3 trillion discrepancy between the budget approved by the Nigerian Senate and the one being implemented by the presidency.

“One Senator claims there is a separate budget, allegedly containing the N3 trillion, that differs from what was passed by the National Assembly. This alleged discrepancy is especially worrying because it represents over 10% of our national budget (estimated at N29 trillion) and is more than the combined education (N1.54 trillion) and health (N1.38 trillion) official budgets. This lack of transparency in managing public funds is a breach of trust between the Nigerian people and their elected leaders.

“With insecurity, hunger, poverty, inflation, and unemployment plaguing the nation, these actions are insensitive to the people’s plight. Every naira of our budget, especially in these challenging times, should be judiciously used to build a better Nigeria.

“We also deserve full accountability of all our scarce resources placed in public trust. Therefore, we, the Nigerian people, demand a public explanation from both the National Assembly and the Presidency regarding the purpose and process of adding this alleged N3 trillion allocation to the officially approved national budget for 2024. Transparency and accountability remain the cornerstones of good democratic governance at all levels. This is our unwavering commitment to building a New Nigeria which we insist remains POssible. -PO.”

Reacting, Onanuga said there was no padding as claimed by Obi.

“There was no padding. My advice: don’t always jump into a matter in public space without first of all confirming its authenticity,” Onanuga said.

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